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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  August 4, 2010 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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>> welcome to the broadcast. we have max boot on the council on foreign relations and julian barnes of the "wall street journal." >> i think general petraeus thinks this is a war that's win -l. i can't imagine he would have taken this job if he didn't think it was winnable if he thought the lives of the troopers under his command would be wasted. he see this is as a fight where we're just starting to get invested and we have a real chance to push back the taliban and establish decent accountable governance for the people of afghanistan. >> petraeus changed the dynamic in washington, he changed the dynamic in iraq. he allowed a robust troop presence to last for some time in iraq. people close to petraeus say he may be able to do the same thing
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in afghanistan. i think what petraeus' most likely argument will be to the administration is we can do some drawdown in july but it has to be a gradual drawdown. that if we're showing some progress, if this strategy is starting to achieve something we need to keep a fairly robust number of troops in afghanistan for some time. >> rose: we continue with will farrell of "saturday night live" and his collaborator and writer and director adam mckay. >> adam is a unique director. truly a writer/director in a sense there isn't anyone i've worked with who can on his feet as the camera is rolling yell out three lines that are equally as funny and he'll give that to all the actors, all the cast and that kind of getses everyone going. before you know it everyone is in the same flow. >> we had a dinner with will and
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mark and i just was intrigued by their chemistry. the two of them was like immediately interesting and then, you know, i knew they had this kind of different perspective each of them. it was like some way to use that and playoff of mark's toughness and we just talked about the idea of the guys who sit in the desk next to the all-star cops and it just clicked right away for us. >> rose: boot, barnes, farrell, and mckay coming up.
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>> rose: we begin this evening with a look at general david petraeus and the war in afghanistan. he took over the command of the u.s. and nato mission in july. for the second time in his career, he has been cast as a general who can rescue a faltering war effort. although president obama's 30,000 troops are not yet fully in place, skepticism about the
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mission and the strategy has increased. the taliban has been resilient, afghan corruption continues, and the u.s. death toll is rising. july was the deadliest month yet for u.s. troops with 66 killed. the leak of thousands of intelligence documents last month has further eroded public confidence. a "u.s.a. today"/gallup poll shows support for president obama's handling of the war dropped from 48% in february to 36%. here is what president obama said about the afghan mission in a speech to disabled veterans yesterday. >> we will continue to face huge challenges in afghanistan. but it's important that the american people know that we are making progress and we are focused on goals that are clear and achievable. on the military front nearly all the additional forces i ordered to afghanistan are now in place. along with our afghan and international partners we are going on the offensive against
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the taliban, targeting our leaders, challenging them in regions where they had free rein and training afghan national security forces. (applause) our thoughts and prayers are with all our troops risking their lives for our safety in afghanistan. and on the civilian front, we're insisting on greater accountability in the after... and the afghan government has taken concrete steps to combat corruption and put forward a reintegration plan that allows afghans to lay down their arms. >> rose: general petraeus is under enormous pressure to show progress before the white house conducts a review in december. he has 12 months before july, 2011, when the president has promised to begin a conditions-based withdrawal. joining me is max boot of the council on foreign relations. he's one of several outside advisors working with general petraeus. from washington, julian barnes a
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reporter with the waourbl. he was embedded with the 101st air born division in 2003. i am pleased to have both of them on this program this evening. let he begin with you, max, tell me how you think-- because you're close to him and you have advised him-- general petraeus sews this mission and how he sees it differently, if he does, from general mcchrystal. >> well, i think he sees it as a hard fight but as he said repeatedly, hard is not hopeless. i think he see this is as an opportunity to turn around a war effort that was really underresourced, not given the attention that it needed for a number of years. that's something that general mcchrystal began to change over the course of the last year. i mean, we've had an amazing buildup occur during the time that general mcchrystal was in charge and remember, general petraeus was at central command at the same time so he was very much involved in the strategy that general mcchrystal was laying out. in the course of the last 18 months or so, we're seeing a tripling of morn force size,
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we're seeing all sorts of new headquarters springing up, new bases springing up. an investment on the war effort that was not there before. and i think general petraeus clearly believes this is a war that is winnable, i can't imagine he would have taken this job if he didn't think it was winnable, if he thought the lives of the troopers under his command were going to be wasted. he doesn't believe that at all. he clearly see this is as a fight where we're just starting to get invested and we have a real chance to push back the taliban and establish decent accountable governance for the people of afghanistan. >> rose: so he's simply waiting for all the resources that general mcchrystal was waiting for in order to implement a strategy that general mcchrystal had defined? >> i think there's some truth to that. obviously general petraeus is going to have some tweaks, some changes of emphasis as, in fact, general mcchrystal would have had some tweaks and changes of emphasis because the battlefield does not stay static and you have to adjust to what the enemy is doing. i think one of the adjustments that general petraeus will make the is perhaps to put a little more emphasis on trying to combat the culture of corruption which has taken root in afghan
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government and which has become a real hindrance to winning over the people which, as we all know, is the heart of any successful counterinsurgency effort. that's something that general mcchrystal talked about as well and started to move on. but i think more needs to be done and i think that's an area that general petraeus will emphasize while also continuing with the push of troops into taliban areas which has been going on and especially in southern afghanistan for a number of months now. >> rose: i have never really understood... i understand individually what counterterrorism is, i understand what counterinsurgency is, but it would seem to me that counterterrorism was always a part of counterinsurgency if insurgency has a trystistic aspect to it. and that there are several... that you use every kind of instrument you have within your quiver. >> that's absolutely correct. and that's why i think a lot of the debate we've been hearing about afghanistan is a false debate because you often hear
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counterterrorism juxtaposed... >> rose: as if they're competing for attention. >> you have to do both. some people in favor of counterterrorism say we don't need the big troop commitment, we can do it with a handful of special operations forces. that's not the case. the problem is those special operators are the best in the world and they can take out a lot of mid-to top level taliban leadership. but unfortunately it's like mowing the lawn. they will spring back up. but you have to do the leadership piece and counterterrorism forces, top tier special operations forces are doing that every single night but on top of that you have to have the counterinsurgency strategy so as to provide 24/7 security in the places where the taliban operate so they can't operate anymore. and that's... and that's essentially what general petraeus is, i believe, going to imsphreplt that very comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy which includes security, which includes
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counterterrorism, which also includes a political element to build up more accountable afghan governance. >> rose: and doing that in a way that they haven't done before in terms of village by village and not just simply trying to build up from a national government perspective? >> absolutely. doing it village by village. i mean, hi just issued counterinsurgency guidance in the last two days that talks about the need for troops to get out of their vehicles, to walk, to get out among the population, some of the things he did so successfully in iraq also applies to afghanistan or any other counterinsurgency fight. and that's something that it's not brand new in afghanistan, in fact, that's something that general mcchrystal was starting to implement. but it still has a long way to go. and a lot of the troops to imlimit that strategy are only now arriving. >> rose: there was always much talk about mcchrystal and eikenberry. is that because petraeus is a different person no longer an issue? >> we'll see if it's an issue or not. so far i have not heard about tensions there. but i suspect that ambassador eikenberry realizes that the
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message from president obama that everybody has to get along is a serious message. and that there is a real imperative for the top civil and military leaders to cooperate. and so i... my guess is that you will see more cooperation than you did in the past because i think very clearly the tolerance in washington for some of the divisions and bickering that we've seen in the past, that kind of tolerance is much less than it used to be. >> rose: julian, tell me what you think the rules of engagement are now and are they different in terms of how much air power you use and how you use it and what it's... its implications are on the ground both for the americans and the taliban. >> yeah, petraeus has begun a review of mcchrystal's tactical directive and that's what mcchrystal called it and that's the sort of key rule that says you've got to be careful, you've got to limit the use of air strikes, artillery, the heavy firepower of american
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forces. those kind of strikes that were causing the worst civilian casualties. so petraeus is committed to keeping the general principle into effect. and i'm told he's going to probably keep the tactical directive pretty much in place. but what they're doing is going through and kind of weeding out any sort of extra rules that have been built up beyond the formal rules of engagement. you know, one senior commander told me about a rule in eastern afghanistan where they were defining structure as a dilapidated house, anything with three walls. and they were going to say you can't strike that... you can't hit that with air power. but after petraeus began the review, senior commanders said "hey, look, this was an overinterpretation, a misinterpretation." so they told soldiers, hey, listen, if it's a rundown house, if it's not... doesn't have a roof, you can hit that.
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that's not a... that is a legitimate target. so it's rules like that that are being cleared out. it's not a wholesale revision of either of the rules of engagement or the tactical directive. >> rose: i'm struck by one thing about the two of these generals-- petraeus and mcchrystal-- they both seem to value the input of people like max and other advisors, civilian advisors with some expertise. do you... is that true, julian? >> yeah, that's absolutely true. in fact, you know, when max and steve biddle and fred kagan were onnally invited over there by general mcchrystal, then the sudden change of command happened, general petraeus said "glad you're here," widened their mandate a little bit, asked them to look a little more broadly. but both these generals have
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reached out for ideas outside of the normal military hierarchy. >> rose: what is it you bring? i mean for you to flatter yourself but just tell me what it is when you go over there to advise petraeus what does he ask or what would mcchrystal ask and what is it they want to know from you? is it hisly. is it strategy? is it... what? >> well, i can't go too much into the details but in general terms i will say that both of those generals, i think, are very interested in getting different perspectives and they know that most of the folks who work for them are about this close to an issue and they are very much in the weeds. they are working issues day to day and that's absolutely appropriate. but it's also helpful to have somebody who comes in from sort of out of left field or right field, takes a look around and says "hey, have you thought about this?" or "my imsuppression that this may make sense or this may not make sense." so that sort of longer-range perspective which is something that's hard to get in a military
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command where everybody is working very hard, very diligently but has so many pressing day-to-day issues to deal with that it's not always possible to look at the bigger strategic picture. >> rose: what's the great debate for david petraeus? >> well, i will say when i went over there i said to general petraeus "what do you want me to look at?" his answer was "whatever needs to be looked at." it's very broad. it's really whatever strikes the eye as being interesting or that's helpful to him. and when you talk about the issues he has to deal with, you're right. i mean, he's got a million different issues to deal with. and it's helpful for him to sometimes get some perspective on some of those issues in terms of whether we're on the right course or we're not. again, i think that basically we are on the right course. but it's really a question of some adjustments, some changes of emphasis here and there. those are the kinds of things any commander will make and certainly that general petraeus will make and general mcchrystal would have made as well. >> rose: why is this war necessary? >> well, there was a... i think it all goes back to 9/11,
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ultimately. remember, this was not a war of choice. this was a war that was forced upon us by al qaeda and their close friends in the taliban. the taliban had a chance to disown al qaeda after 9/11. if they had done that, they could have survived. they refused to disown al qaeda and in the years since then... >> rose: they refused to cast them out. >> they refused to cast them out even though it would have been in their interest to do so. in the years since, the taliban have drawn even closer to al qaeda. the two are really inseparable. so if we want to defeat al qaeda, we have to fight the taliban because if the taliban come back into power, they will invite their friends in al qaeda to once again use afghanistan as the base from which to attack us. so that's why we have to... we were talking about the difference between counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. and in some ways we have fairly narrow countertryst goals in afghanistan to counteral qaeda. but the only way we're going to achieve those goals is implementing a broader counterinsurgency strategy this counters the taliban. >> rose: do you sense there's a growing questioning of this
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war in the body politic of america? >> sure, all you have to do is look at the fact that more than 100 lawmakers voted against the appropriation. you have to... you see the public opinion polls. there's an impatience. people want to see results and it's hard to see results on a counterinsurgency because you can't point to figures on a map and say "our forces have advanced and we've taken this objective. skwots there's an impatience. but i think that general petraeus, my reading of the political climate is that general petraeus will have probably a year to implement his strategy and to try to get results and to set back the political clock in washington. >> rose: so he'll change the washington clock? if the washington clock says a review in december and then to begin to come out in july of next year, he will set that back, in your judgment? >> i think clock has already been set back by the appointment of general petraeus. president obama's not talking a lot about that. >> rose: how is it different? how is it different? where do you think it is now? >> well, i think with the appointment of general petraeus you basically double down on the strategy for afghanistan.
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and i don't see any way he's going to pull the plug on him within a few months. i think he'll have at least a year to show progress realistically. >> rose: so it's now august, 2010. so he'll have august until august, 2011, in order to show some progress and indicate to the president to stay the course? >> roughly. or, you know, make adjustments, whatever, yeah. >> rose: and is... i hate to use this, but is victory the idea simply that you have the taliban in check? so that they're not going to be running afghanistan so that they are not going to be allowed to use afghanistan as a haven but not necessarily to defeat them? >> well, i think victory is to create a stable afghanistan that does not threaten its neighbors, that does not host terrorism and that can police its own borders with a decreasing level of foreign assistance. obviously we're not going to reach victory in the next year, nobody imagines that. i think general petraeus has a chance to some some... show some progress and that we're moving the ball in a positive direction. if he does that, a lot of the opposition you're seeing now in
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the political sphere will evaporate just as it did in the case of iraq after the progress of the surge in 2007. >> rose: that's capable in your judgment? that's reachable in your judgment? >> i don't think we're going to have the same kind of rapid progress as we had in iraq. >> rose: because you have no anwar uprising? >> well, part of it is you don't have an anbar uprising. part of it is the level of violence in iraq was so much higher than in afghanistan, 15 times higher in 2006 in iraq than it was in 2010 in afghanistan and it was concentrated in baghdad. so it was possible to flood the zone with a lot of troops and see rapid reductions in violence. that's not going to happen in afghanistan because the violence is more diffuse, it's at a lower level so you're not going to see a huge and dramatic falloff in violence as you did in the case of iraq. but i think nevertheless you can show progress. and i think we are seeing some progress in places such as helmand province where the marines have gone into some areas and have created some stability there. i think you will see more of that happening over the course of the next year. >> rose: max, thank you for coming. i know that you had a previous
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appointment and we got delayed here. thank you very much for coming in. we look forward to seeing you again. >> thank you. >> rose: let me go back to julian. julian, tell me how you see the decision to change the kandahar fish sniff. >> it was nothing that people close to petraeus were... some people close to petraeus felt was getting way too much attention. or at least too much attention. and, you know, is there a way to broaden the view of what americans are looking at in afghanistan? is there a way to, you know, make the kandahar offensive or mission... >> rose: offensive i guess is the right word. >> more palatable to karzai or to... or even to local officials within kandahar. to actually make sure that it demonstrates to ordinary afghans that there can be increased
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security. there can be better governance and that that can make a difference in people's lives. >> rose: when you look at the relationship between petraeus and karzai, is it different than it was between mcchrystal and karzai? >> well, that's a great question. it's, in fact, the key question. because, you know, this... the war is really going to... that relationship is so important to the war and we saw with general petraeus that there were a couple early wins. some things that karzai was dragging his heels on, the local defense initiative, the special forces led initiative to organize some local villages. the afghan government was very skeptical of that. pretty soon after petraeus was
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in place, karzai came out and issued a decree endorsing that. also, progress on reconciliation orders. and so, you know, people close to mcchrystal will say all these things were in the works. but there's no doubt that general petraeus came in and got president karzai to do some really important things very quickly. >> rose: what's the plan for dealing with the haqqani network >> we've seen a lot of action in eastern afghanistan beginning about in april where u.s. special operations forces and to alesser degree conventional forces have gone after the haqqani network there. the number of bombings in kabul is down in part because of this network has been degraded.
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so, you know, u.s. officials will say, look, there's some significant gains that we've done on the afghanistan side. now, the flip side is just what you said. the pakistanis have not moved against the haqqanis and that safe haven exists in... >> rose: because the conventional argument is if, in fact, there is a future afghanistan with the taliban having some degree of power or lots of power, they want some relationship with that taliban government and the haqqanis would be the best route for that >> the haqqanis... the haqqanis have had a long relationship with the pakistani government. the pakistani state does not consider haqqanis a threat to them, they consider them an asset. this relationship goes back to the soviet war, a strong... strong allies there. and so they are reluctant to see the haqqani network as a threat
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to them. but, you know, probably a day doesn't go by where the u.s. doesn't make that argument to pakistan that, you know, the haqqanis are a threat. >> rose: do people that you talked to have any more information-- not than the c.i.a. but simply more information they're willing to reveal about how the pakistanis and the afghans and especially those people in north waziristan see osama bin laden? >> well, the short answer is probably not. but i probably don't know anything more. but it's something that we talk about a lot with officials. you know, they're particularly concerned about the ties between the haqqani network and al qaeda within north waziristan. this is... both groups have been pushed into this area, this safe haven. the haqqani network is probably
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al qaeda's most important ally at this point. or least among them. they're certainly the closest group to them. and the haqqani network more and more is talking the sort of same language of international terrorism that al qaeda uses. and so within north waziristan, you know, these groups have been pushed together so much that, you know, some officials, some folks feel that they are at some level interchangeable. now, that's not a common view, but it is out there. >> rose: petraeus came into this job at a tough time for the president. and the assumption is that he has a unique power base now in order to prosecute this war. >> petraeus is not going to be able to ask for more troops. petraeus is not going to be able to ask for the number of...
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there to be no drawdown in july. he is going to have... he is going to have to work with the troops he has. but the reality is that general petraeus has found a way in the past to put time on the washington clock. he has been able during the surge in iraq... if you ask folks in 2007, you know, are... more than 100,000 troops going to stay in iraq for three years to come, two years to come, they would have said no. but petraeus changed the dynamic in washington, he changed the dynamic in iraq. he allowed a robust troop presence to last for some time in iraq. people close to petraeus say he may be able to do the same thing in afghanistan. and i think what petraeus' most likely argument will be to the
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administration is we can do some drawdown in july but it has to be a gradual drawdown. that if we're showing some progress, if this strategy is starting to achieve something, we need to keep a fairly robust number of troops in afghanistan for some time. >> rose: julian, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> rose: julian barnes from the "wall street journal." our thanks also to max boot. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: will farrell and adam mckay are here. they first met in 1995 on their first day of work for "saturday night live". in the 15 years since, their comic collaboration has produced films and television shows and an online venture that is called funny or die. their new project is the movie "the other guys" it stars will and mark wahlberg. here's a look at the trailer. >> tell me once again why i got on this roof.
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>> i chock that up to bad life choices. (screaming) >> in the toughest any the world, nobody fights crime like these guys. >> somebody call 91... holy [no audio] (humming). >> and then there's the other guys. >> stop humming that song! (cheers and applause). >> we know, we know. >> all the gun fights, all the car chases, all the sex we don't want to have with women but we have to all due to what you guys do. >> and we'd do it again and again. >> hey! if i want to hear you talkly shove my arm and work your mouth like a puppet. >> they're real characters. >> will you stop it, man? >> what? >> i think you're a fake cop. >> i hear a guy who's probably a little insecure. ow! >> all units, we've got a possible jumper. >> we all know you're in a very dark place right now. >> i'm gonna do it!
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>> you're feeling as if sweet death is your only release. >> whoa, we got a second jumper! >> oh, look, he's flying. >> hi. >> who are you? >> i'm his wife. >> this is the ball and chain. >> what! >> seriously, who is that? >> i'm a real cop! i'm working on a huge case. you're coming with me. >> that's a wooden gun! ow! >> listen up, we need your cooperation. >> run! >> we are doing a lot of property damage! oh, cool, a helicopter! where'd you learn to drive like that? >> grand theft auto. >> i want to do good cop; bad cop. i come strong then you come in. >> got it. >> i want to know everything now! >> i'll talk to you, you're reasonable. >> you want to talk to me? (screaming)ing) get away from me! (screaming). >> i thought you said bad cop; bad cop. >> i am a peacock!
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you've got to let me fly. >> pick another bird, peacocks don't fly, terry, they don't, do they? >> let him have it, captain. >> the other guys. >> how do they walk away in movies without flinching when it explodes behind them? there's no way! the movie industry is completely irresponsible for the way they portray explosions! >> rose: joining me now are actor will farrell and writer director adam mckay, i'm pleased to have them once again on this very fine broadcast. welcome. what is the magic of this collaboration that the two of you... (laughter). what. >> what is the imagine snick um... >> this will be to see how good you are on your feet time. >> i think the imagine sick gin. a lot of gin. >> rose: does the gin make it ease any. >> it does. it stimulates the neurons. it pretty much stimulating everything. >> you hit it at like 10:00 a.m., it gets you to 2:00 then 2:00 it's just a quick little
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jaunt to bedtime. that takes care of it. >> rose: does he get involved in the writing or does he edit your you have? >> believe it or not, will is a very involved writer. he actually will... he works the keyboard and i lay on the couch and throw out ideas. so he's very involved. >> rose: (laughs) that's the way it works? >> it is. in this case he did rewrites with us and was very involved in reconfiguring the script and so, yeah, will is very involved. >> rose: you've never been jealous of him because he gets the face time, have you? >> no, i do not envy him. >> rose: he's a national icon and you are a. >> a behind-the-scenes writer. i'll gladly trade that. when you see him confronted with massive crowds screaming his name and i get to walk by. >> i'm glad you said "icon", too >> rose: shows you how perceptive i am. there's this great story that you came from chicago a comedic genius you were. >> (laughs).
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>> rose: and you came there to audition "saturday night live" the same day he was auditioning? >> probably were. >> rose: you came to audition and lorne michaels said "close but no." >> he said it right at the moment i finished the audition he yelled out "no. never!" i think he screamed never." >> he said nice try. >> "nice try, friend." >> rose: here's a bus ticket back to chicago. but did he say do you need a writer or what did he say? >> i knew i didn't do impression s so i brought scripts with me so the second i walked off the stage i went up to him and said "i'm a writer." it was the smartest move i ever made because he's like "oh, all right. not good enough to make the cast but close, writer." >> the two of you came the same day? >> we were literally having back-to-back meets with lorne
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with lorne in his office where we were getting oriented and that sort of thing and saw each other. it was myself, cheri oteri, we thought let's go have another beer and went to mchale's. >> that's right! >> on... >> glorious old mchale's... >> on 42nd street. >> i think i said maybe three words and... >> rose: because you were shier than they were? >> a little shier than the chicago gang. >> some would say less needy. (laughter) a little more confident... >> i know what i'm doing, i don't need to talk. >> that was probably more what it was, yeah. >> these guys thought i was the new straight man. >> >> rose: oh, they did? >> let me preface that, the handsome straight man. >> rose: let me add to that, the tall handsome straight man. how about tall handsome leading man straight man. >> okay. >> we thought he was an icon right off the bat.
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>> rose: well, heed that potential. >> that's what we... >> we said most likely to be an icon, yeah. >> rose: so you started writing skits for him, in combination with him. >> you write for everyone. you write cold opens, you write for the cast in general. it wasn't until late in our first year that he and i started writing together. i want dodd a sketch about vh-1 storytellers and i had an idea it was about a singer that had pop songs and they had dark stories behind them and we wanted to do neil diamond. and all these sweet neil diamond songs had awful stories behind them. >> rose: (laughs) it's funny already! >> like crackling rosie is about a hit-and-run. and sherry baby is about the time he killed a drifter for no reason and it was crazy stuff. i can keep going, charlie. >> rose: (laughs) no, stop there. now, with all the hits we have now, right, when you walk in and
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say "we have an idea" they say "where do we sign up"? >> um, well, when we have an idea and it's myself and mark wahlberg, they say "where do we sign up"? >> rose: mark makes a difference, he's been in the movies before, too. so tell me about the whole thing, this whole idea of the other guys. we saw that you're all cops and i think i saw... samuel l. jackson there. >> dwayne johnson. >> rose: i may have seen the rock there. >> and they are kind of the iconic members of the force. they're the guys who... they're the stereotypical action heroes. >> rose: and describe mark wahlberg and you. >> mark and i are the opposite. we're literally the other guys in the office that no one likes. we're the unsung heroes. mark's kind of a guy who's from the streets who is on his rise to get his... be a lead homicide detective but unfortunately shot derek jeter and...
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>> rose: that's not tkpwraod. >> and that's not good. >> before game seven of the world series. shot him in the leg and became the most hated cop in all of new york city. >> his punishment is to be paired with my character who is a forensic accountant who has never seen a beat. never walked a beat ever. never fired his weapon and absolutely loves paperwork. >> rose: (laughs) so mark does not look like this is going to be his career saver, does it? >> no, he quickly at the beginning of the movie makes a point to tell me how much not only he hates me but that he doesn't think i'm a real cop or a real man. >> rose: you don't even belong there. >> exactly. >> rose: where did the idea come from? >> you know, it came from... we had a dinner with will and mark and i just was intrigued by their chemistry, the two of them. it was immediately interesting. and then, you know, i knew they had this kind of different perspective've of them and it was some way to kind of use that and playoff of mark's toughness
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and we just talked about the idea of the guys who sit in the desk next to the all-star cops and it kind of just clicked right away for us. and then we were able to get sam jackson and dwayne johnson, that kind of pushed it even further because we actually had all-star cops. that was the trick. if we hadn't gotten them, the idea doesn't work. if you have two unknowns as the all-star cops. >> rose: did you have to have a big case to solve? >> we did. we talked about... >> rose: a ponzi scheme would work. >> that was it. the buddy cop genre usually it's drug smugglers, who cares at this point after madoff stole $80 billion. >> rose: so you made those things look like small time... >> it's quaint, almost, drug dealers. >> rose: let's look at a scene from "the other guys." here it is. (cheers and applause). >> we know, we know, we know. all right, all right, listen up, listen up. we're having a celebration tonight at butter. brodie generaller is going to be
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there and most of you are on the list. >> you're the best! >> guys i want to say something right now. we couldn't do our job if it weren't for you guys doing the paperwork answering the phones. >> all the gun fights, car chases, s.e.c. we don't want to have with women but we have to, all due to what you you guys do. >> thank you. >> and we'd do it again and again. >> hey, you shut your face! if we want to hear you talk, i will work your mouth like a puppet, you hear he? cash bar! peace out. (cheers and applause). >> i will say from experience that is intimidating getting yelled at by sam jackson. even though it's a comedy. you feel it. >> rose: you did? >> you feel the heat, yeah. >> rose: with the rock standing by backing him up. >> absolutely. >> rose: will do it every time so in putting this together, and you had wahlberg and you had the rock. do you... these guys are serious... not that you're not. these guys are serious actors. >> he's not, though, don't
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pretend. he's an icon but let's face it... >> i'm a buffoon. (laughter). >> rose: he's a money maker, he's an icon. can these guys improvise like this guy can? >> well, you know, the beauty of will is will creates such a kind of open set and he's so giving as an actor that yes, they could, plus they're good actors, all the rules of good acting apply to improv which is you listen, play at the top of your intelligence and it took mark about five minutes. it was quick. we walked offset and we're like "we're going to be in good shape." and sam jackson loved it. he was relishing and took pride in coming up with lines and eva mendez, too. they all kind of know because we've done enough films our reputation... >> rose: eva mendez is in this film. >> eva mendez is in this movie. >> rose: (laughs). >> we should advertise that more, i think. >> rose: yes, i think so. but suddenly these guys can do it. they can playoff of you and give you lines and it works like the
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pros you work with? >> yeah. you know, adam... you know, adam's a unique director, truly a writer/director in the sense that there really isn't anyone i've ever worked with who can on his feet as the camera is rolling yell out three lines that are equally as funny and that he'll... he'll give that to all the actors, all the cast and that kind of gets everyone going. before you know it, you know, everyone's kind of in the same flow. is up. >> yeah, i taught improv in chicago for a bunch of years so there's basic rules you kind of use to get people comfortable with it. you know, the whole trick is if you're improvising you're going to fail a bunch of times. you have to make it clear we expect... you don't have to be perfectly clever. it doesn't have to be oscar wilde on every take, you know? it's okay to be-- i can't think of an anti-oscar wild-- frank stallone on some takes. (laughter) does that qualify? >> rose: i was looking to see where you're going. i wasn't dare going to interrupt
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that. >> so that's the trick and all these people got it. they're kind of amazing. they kind of blew us away. >> rose: did you once say that much of your humor extends from cocky for no reason guys? >> yeah. >> rose: what does that mean? >> i mean, there's nothing funnier than someone like just pridefully doing the wrong thing. like seeing someone just ham err piece of equipment in the wrong way and tell people to leave them alone while they're doing it. that's why george bush was so comedically fantastic for eight years. not only did he do the wrong thing, he did it and was mad at you for questioning them. and farrell is so great at playing those characters. he's also a little vulnerable when he plays those characters which is a key because we can see ourselves in it. >> rose: why do you think you play those characters so well? >> huh. um... you know, it's just... i don't... there's just something
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really satisfying about being really arrogant and wrong all at the same time. >> rose: (laughs) yes, it's perfect for comedy. >> it really is. and then... and then weave ago glimmer of, like, i'm right, right? >> rose: (laughs) . >> all that put together just will never not make us laugh in a way. >> rose: so you love doing george bush. >> well, it... >> rose: well, you must have, you brought them to the stage. >> it was quite a journey. i only pause because it makes me laugh because when i first... it's not like i had this killer george bush impersonation on the shelf when he first ran for office. >> rose: you didn't think he was going to win. >> i thought i would do it for two months. (laughter). >> rose: find something else. >> go "that was fun." >> rose: but didn't daryl get it? >> it was up to daryl hammond. it was his choice first. and... >> rose: he'd been there longer than you had been there. >> well, he's just a master at
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what he does and he had a great... he really was... wanted to do this gore impersonation, he felt great about it. i think lorne michaels turned to me because i was tall. like "you want to play bush? i heard he's tall." (laughter) i'm like, o.k. >> rose: two or three months, he's not going to win the election and eight years later you're still doing bush. >> and i'm watching that first race as it gets tighter and tighter and it's getting close to the debates and i'm thinking oh, i've got to try to get him down in a way because it looks like this guy is... >> rose: going to be there. >> it's going to be tight. anyway, as it all evolved and climaxing with this... with the broadway show we got to do last year, it was really funner night to go out there. >> rose: did it change over the eight years for you? >> in terms of, like, technically i just got better. >> rose: you locked in. >> and found for of his mannerisms and it really changed once i got up on stage with him because i never... on "saturday
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night live" you just stand in a spot and maybe turn and look or you sit, but i had to move and that's where i found a whole new level to this guy that i didn't know was really in me in a way. >> rose: have you ever met him? >> i met him once. >> rose: how was that? >> on a cruise. no. (laughter). >> i did meet him at "saturday night live" when he was then governor and i had been told he was a huge fan, he wanted to meet me and so i was like okay, i'll come down and say hi. and they're like just go up and say hi, no one's introducing me and awkward and weird. and i'm like "governor, will farrell, how are you, thanks for doing? this?" he's like "(as george bush) "pleased to met you. and?" i could tell he did not know i was the guy who played him. in his defense we hadn't done it that much.
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later he put it together that i was on the cast or something and then i just got shoved away and he got moved on to his next appointment. but that was perfectly ironic that he didn't... he had no idea. >> rose: as good a character as you've ever played in terms of impersonation? >> yeah, might be. it might be... >> rose: at the top of the list? >> at the end of it, yeah. >> what about ted turner? that's the only time i've ever seen will... because will will commit to anything. we had tkhoeupl ted turner once in a sketch and he just hated it. he couldn't find an in and he didn't know "i don't know what to do with this beyond a southern accent." it's the only time will hasn't take an big bite out of something he's done. >> rose: so you couldn't find... would that be called the hook? >> yeah and i didn't feel comfortable with it. (as ted turner) "hi, i'm ted turner." i'm sucking right now. >> rose: because of the other things you have done, there's always the sense of you being willing to experiment beyond
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your comfort zone, beyond... is thatting a senate. >> do you mean in his personal life or... >> (laughs) yeah. i... i don't think that i've come across something where i was balking at doing... it just... yeah, it's just about whether it's... it's noneny at its core and... >> rose: but does it have to be comedy? >> no, no. >> rose: he just did... >> he just did a movie. >> i just got into the... did a movie that got into the toronto film festival. >> rose: the story of? >> based on a raymond carver short story. and it's actually what you would call a radical departure. >> rose: for you? >> for me. >> rose: (laughs). >> yeah, i'm playing... >> rose: a detective? >> no, i'm playing an alcoholic and it's a great small story of a guy who comes home and his wife has left him and found all of his personal possessions on
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his front lawn and he's locked out of his house and proceeds to have a yard sale for five days. >> rose: we've got a clip here from "noneny or die." fell me about funny or die. how was this created and what is the... what is this online presentation? >> we were approached by a venture capital group. >> rose: in silicon valley? >> right, sequoia, mark kwame who had this idea, wanted to fund a... basically a comedy youtube in a way which adam and i were pretty strongly ambivalent about at first. >> rose: >> it was funny. we remembered the dot-com crash, the boom and crash and we sort of thought well, this hasn't worked before, why should we waste our time? and kwame and our manager jimmy miller sort of said "there's no downside, why not give it a try? at the worst it will be a fun clubhouse for your friends to hang out in." and that sort of was attractive to us because we loved working for "saturday night live" and doing sketches and that was the initial thing and we had $30,000
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and that was it. the whole thing started off... >> rose: how many hits do you get now? >> now we're about eight million uniques a month. and we have a full staff of, like, 40 people. >> largest comedy web site on the web. >> rose: and what happens is you create a little comedy video and send it and you vote on it yes or no, up or down? >> it goes on the site no matter what and then people can rate the clip. >> rose: if you're funny and don't die do you get something out of that other than attention? >> you just get a prominent position on the front page of the site. and a pony. >> rose: (laughs) . >> we have a stable. >> rose: why a pony rather than a dog? >> we hadn't thought of that, thank you. let's bring that up in the next meeting. >> that would be much easier. dogs are smaller. >> i don't know why. >> rose: this is from funny or die. here it is. >> hi, pearl. >> where's the rent? >> you don't have to raise your voice. >> you pay now! >> i can give you half. >> you pay now, bitch.
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>> don't talk to me like that, okay? >> i'm tired of this crap! >> look, i thought i was clear in me e-mail i needed a couple weeks. >> i work too hard! >> can i get two more weeks? >> i want my money. >> you need to relax. >> i want my money, bitch. >> don't call me bitch! i'm a grown man! >> bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch. >> god, you're mean. (laughs). >> don't make fun of me crying. >> you'll be evicted. >> i'm not doing so good, pearl. >> i put you out on the street! >> pearl, i'm going to pay you. i'm working three jobs right now, working nights, i'm driving a cab, i'm inside with my buddy right now going over my resume. >> i'm gonna smack you. >> okay, you know what? you need to relax. >> i want my money!
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>> look, why do you need your money so fast? come on? >> i need to get my drink on. >> you scare me. you're an alcoholic. >> can i have some beers? >> seriously, you are an alcoholic. yeah, you're drunk. i knew it. you're already drunk. >> i'm just buzzed. >> you're in no condition to deal with this right now. >> i'm taking my beer. >> just take your beer and get out of here, okay? we'll talk tomorrow. this isn't over. >> come on, mommy. >> jesus. >> rose: you were saying as we were watching this you're working your butt off and she's stealing the scene. >> totally stealing the scene. >> rose: you put a lot into this, didn't you? >> i workshopped that scene for two years. >> you gained 60 pounds for that role, right? >> uh-huh. >> amazing. >> rose: you know what they say about craft? it has to be served. >> nice!
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(laughter) >> rose: all right, one more from funny or die. thises a sketch directed by ron howard. roll tape. >> i'm just tired of getting my butt kickd from both sides on this. >> it will be all right. are you smoking cigarettes in there? >> nope. these banks and the credit card companies, they're ripping off the people, almost no regulations. i'm trying to make a consumer agency to protect families and lobbyists and senator shelby act like i want to change the national anthem to "i got 99 problems and a bitch ain't one." >> go to bed, sweetheart. your heart will tell you what to do. >> okay. >> come here, not guilty -l. (rumbling)
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>> boo! boo! i'm the ghost of dick cheney! >> relax! it's just us. >> man michelle has got some legs on her. >> how did you two get in here? >> the security code is still 1234 from when i was president. only took me five times to remember it. >> we heard you were tossing and turning over whether to push for federal regulations so we're here to give you some... advice. >> yeah, well... >> you two are the ones who stripped out the regulations. why would i wanted a vice if you. >> dude, it was the '90s, people did all kinds of crazy things. >> yeah, i'm still waiting for a bunch of e-toys that never showed up. besides, when i put the iraq war on my credit card i never dreamed i'd be paying 28% in interest rates. astronomical. (toilet flushes). >> yeah, well if you'd listened to me it would have raised
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taxes. >> yeah and then i would have had one term. >> yeah, that second term of yours was a real victory lapper, wasn't it, dubbers? now listen borat... >> it's barack. >> sorry, but you've got to listen to these fellas babar. what you've got to understand is that we've got a regulatory issue here. we've got to regulate that or we're gonna get more bubbles, gonna get bigger, larger, and then pop. money goes to the weasels. sometimes you've got to do the right thing. gotta take those approval ratings there and screw 'em. ratings, screw, right? >> i'll take them to nasty town. >> rose: could you make a movie? could you find 90 minutes of material with, say, the adventures of bill and george? >> i don't know. >> we tried to, robert sphaoeug -l and i used to write this thing called "ex-presidents" for "saturday night live" and we did write a script about it and the answer to your question in that case was no.
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(laughter) but they also offered for us to do a landlord movie after "the landlord" came out they talked to us about that and wanted pearl to be in a jackie chan movie and that didn't happen. >> there's just something great about, you know, keeping in the the sketch form and not trying to take it elsewhere. >> so disposable it allows you to be free and try crazy stuff you wouldn't normally do. >> rose: back it all? >> exactly. >> rose: thank you will, great to see you. >> great to see you, too. >> thank you stkpwhr-rbgs my pleasure. is. >> rose: the movie is called "the other guys" august 6. >> this friday. >> you've got to see this thing on friday night. that would be the night to go, wouldn't it? >> perfect. >> or saturday night. >> rose: either one would send a message, wouldn't it? >> go all three nights. >> i'd say just go friday and no one go saturday or sunday and scare the hell out of the studio $90 million on friday. sorry. >> rose: we have that kind of power here, you knee. thank you for joining us.
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see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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